Mike Rosich is the co-founder of MoreThanGrades.com, a website that connects students with colleges, and colleges with students. The website was founded by Mike when he was a freshman attending New York University’s Stern School of Business. He created it after his own experience with the college admissions process. MoreThanGrades.com also provides colleges with assistance in setting up and managing social media as it relates to the college admissions and recruitment process.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on a groundbreaking and exciting event. In a few weeks, we will be holding a virtual college fair and information session that will allow students and colleges to connect live, in real time. The really exciting part of this fair is that for the first time ever, colleges will be able to see a student’s profile as they chat with the student. This profile can include videos, artwork or written work by the student. The students also can view videos and other information provided by the college. Colleges and students can then continue their conversation off-line, as well as have the ability to view each other’s information at their leisure. This fair will be the first of its kind to offer all of these features.
3 Trends that excite you?
What excites me these days is the use of social media as a means to connect with students. Today’s students don’t go to the library to look up information in books about colleges, they go online and search, and they also ask questions. Colleges and universities are just starting to learn how students use social media, and we are excited to be in a position to help them conquer this new means of communication.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In our case, we have a great team that includes not only individuals with college admissions experience, but high school teachers and guidance counselors who provide us with valuable insight into the world of today’s high school student as well. We also work with students directly and listen to what they have to say about how social media, in particular, affects them. All of our decisions are based on a simple idea: What will benefit our students?
What is one mistake you’ve made that our readers can learn from?
One mistake we made early on was assuming we didn’t need to talk to students. Since I had recently graduated from high school (recently being four years ago) I assumed things were basically the same in the world of social media and high school. I (and we) quickly learned otherwise. Today we listen, ask questions and talk to our students and guidance counselors before implementing any changes or initiatives.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
I am a big fan of Michael E. Gerber who wrote “The E-Myth.” The book looks at business as a living and breathing entity, and it says that it’s up to the entrepreneur to make each day exciting and new for everyone who is touched by that business. I think the single most important tool in running a Web-based business is the team of programmers behind the scenes. We have been blessed to have discovered a group of programmers that not only do programming well, but who also suggest ways to improve our website. We recently added an application called College Scoop to Facebook, which allows students to follow the news from their favorite colleges through an RSS feed. Colleges also can create their own RSS feeds without the aid of an IT department, which means they have the freedom to post information to Facebook at will. A great idea … not mine, but theirs.
What is one idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love to see a college-based social media site that allows students to know where their friends are in real time, similar to how Google maps works on the iPhone showing a blue location marker. Friends also would show up on this map and would be able to chat, post information about their locations and information about the location also would show up. It would be local, so college students could see just where their friends are.
How were you able to launch such a complicated website as a freshman in college?
I wanted to provide students with a way to show off who they really were. I wanted them to be able to create what I envisioned to be an online resume for college, something that showed off more than just their grades in a professional way. I was very fortunate in that my parents, teachers and friends assisted with every step. The website is very much a team effort.
When you are not working on MoreThanGrades.com, what are you doing?
I like to spend as much time with my family as possible. I know it sounds corny, but I come from a very close family, and we have a lot of traditions. Soon, it will be time to can tomatoes and make homemade wine. These are traditions that others of my generation seem to have lost, but they are something that I value deeply.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.